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Advisors Of Green Zone
A Paul Greengrass set is a scrupulous world, but not an inflexible one. "The last thing we wanted was a predictable movie,” says the director. "Nor did we ever intend to tell audiences what to think or feel.

Every day for five months, we came to work hoping to create a visceral experience that would provoke viewers to draw their own conclusions.

"It's a hell of a rough subject,” he continues. "To make any progress, you've got to get the facts on the table. We debated it constantly. I've seen too many wars to think there's a simple answer, but I've learned that telling the truth, tricky as that can be, is about the best thing you can do. There's no good second choice.” To ensure as authentic an experience as possible, Chief Warrant Officer 4 RICHARD LAMONT "MONTY” GONZALES, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army and former WMD hunter, came on board as the production's military advisor.

In this role, Monty Gonzales brought an innate understanding of the character of Roy Miller. While assigned to the Army's 75th Field Artillery Brigade (reconstituted as the 75th Exploitation Task Force or XTF), Gonzales was the leader of Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha (MET A). The men of MET A were also seasoned WMD hunters, and they called Gonzales "Chief.”

Gonzales was one of a handful of people assigned to lead small mobile exploitation teams at the start of the war. "The year 2003 was the most challenging year of my career, probably of my life, because of the mission we were assigned and the responsibilities put on our shoulders,” he says. "But we went in with about 15 guys and came out with the same number, so we did okay.”

Survival was one measure of success. The mission was another. "Once the reality on the ground changed from what we expected it to be, to what we discovered it to be, our mission became a search for the truth, rather than a search for weapons of mass destruction,” says the chief. "Because it became more and more clear as the operation went on that it was unlikely we'd find anything.”

When Gonzales reported for duty on the Green Zone set, he found himself again in the middle of the action. A novice to moviemaking, he spent most of his days huddled at the monitor with the director and star hashing out what a real soldier would do in a given situation.

Authenticity was the mandate, and that extended to events being portrayed, as well as details concerning the soldiers, vehicles, guns and other military elements that would appear on screen. "Making sure Monty and the soldiers felt comfortable with the reality factor was hugely important for us,” says Greengrass. "Every single day.”

Damon and Gonzales had instant rapport, and the actor quickly saw the value of having "Chief ” on the scene. "Every question, from the big to the small, Monty had a very good answer for, based on his experience,” says Damon. "That's really helpful in terms of figuring out what these guys went through. We're basically replicating a lot of their experiences in Iraq. To have the real guy who led one of the MET teams hunting for weapons is everything I could ask for.”

The respect and enthusiasm were mutual. "Matt was dedicated to getting it right,” says Gonzales. "He was totally focused on making sure that if he's playing a soldier, it's the best possible soldier he can bring to the screen.”

U.S. Army vet BRIAN SIEFKES portrays Keating, Miller's right-hand man in Green Zone. In 2003, Siefkes was also a WMD hunter in Iraq, working alongside Gonzales. "What you see us doing in this film is an accurate representation of what we did over there,” says the 28-year-old Oregon native. "It's what we experienced.”

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